Permission to care: a conversation from a mental health inpatient unit


Andrew Blythe and Wendy Hawksworth

Permission to care was written in 2014 by Andrew Blythe and Wendy Hawskworth and originally presented as a conversation-in-progress at the 15th International Mental Health Conference at the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Andrew and Wendy both work in a mental health service in Brisbane, Australia: Andrew as a consumer consultant and Wendy as a nurse educator.

Permission to care is their story of exploring values within an acute inpatient unit and represents the early days of their work trying to understand Values-Based Practice. It illustrates their thoughts and conversations as they reflect on practice to consider, from a values perspective, the service in which they work. They use the four skills of Values-Based Practice—awareness, reasoning, knowledge, and communication—to frame their insights and consider how these are placed within current practice.

As a consequence, one of the difficulties they found of being values aware was a feeling of frustration and isolation because of the unreflective and often uncritical approach to care that they encountered. They hope this writing, by exploring different ways of knowing and expressing, will help others who are also facing similar challenges to feeling validated within their workplace.

Therefore, with no expectations other than to keep an open mind, the reader is invited to join Andrew and Wendy on their journey of exploration and reflection as they walk through the mental health unit.

Read More – for the full text of our conversation see: 

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